MRI – Safe Patient Monitor –
Caring for kids requires specialized tools

Last year, thanks to the generous support of the community, CHEO was able to purchase a powerful new 3T MRI. This state-of-the-art $3 million piece of equipment provides higher resolution images for specialized scans. In addition, with your past support, CHEO was able to purchase two sets of MRI video goggles that decrease the need for kids to be sedated using general anaesthesia for their MRI. Sometimes however it is still necessary for children to be sedated during their scan and special equipment is needed to support them.

This year CHEO needed a new MRI-safe patient monitor that allows the anesthesiologist to monitor the anaesthetic dose and the patient’s heart and breathing rates in real-time – ensuring a safe MRI experience for CHEO’s young patients who have to undergo sedation for their MRI. This monitor also supports young patients who may require additional monitoring like infants, patients with heart conditions and conditions such as epilepsy.

An MRI is a giant, and very powerful, magnet. Therefore only ultra specialized equipment can be used in the room with the MRI. This specially constructed patient monitor must be assembled using different metals and technology than standard patient monitors so as not to interfere with the MRI’s scans.

At a cost of $110,000, this specialized monitor is more than 10 times the cost of a regular patient monitor! In fact, MRI safe patient monitors are a requirement for a children’s hospital like CHEO but are not always needed in adult centres.

Until this year, CHEO only had one of these monitors supporting both of its MRI machines. Only one patient could use this machine at a time and it had to be transported back and forth between CHEO’s two MRI rooms – wasting valuable time.

It is thanks to generous donors that specialized equipment like this means that kids wait less time for an MRI, leading to a faster diagnosis and treatment. We know that this is especially important when every day matters in the life of a child.

Neuro-bipolar irrigation forceps– Precise tools for the most delicate of surgeries

Surgical techniques and medical technologies continue to evolve every year and it is through the support of generous donors that CHEO has state-of-the art equipment. These technological advances are tremendously important in the area of neurosurgery, where specialized equipment such as the neuronavigation system, like a Google maps for the brain, helps guide surgeon’s tiny tools.

Today, thanks to these innovations, these tiny tools, like the neuro-bipolar forceps and irrigation system are used by the surgeon during brain surgery to grasp tissue while also stopping and helping to prevent bleeding in the brain as a result of the surgery itself. Further, the irrigation system helps prevent injury to the brain tissue by keeping the area cool and clean. In the past, no one tool performed both of these tasks.

This equipment, at a cost of more than $30,000, is needed to perform the most delicate of neurosurgical operations such as removing a brain tumour. During very specialized surgeries, this equipment can be enabled to work together with the neuronavigation system to provide precise information back to the surgical team in real-time. In these instances, think of the tiny forceps as having GPS markers on them, allowing them to be tracked by the neuronavigation system showing the surgeon exactly where they are as they operate, while the neuronavigation system outlines where they need to go next.

Your donations enable CHEO to purchase expensive high-tech equipment like these forceps, which lead directly to the best possible outcomes for CHEO’s young patients.

New Patient Beds – Just for kids!

Last year we reported to you on how your support helped refresh 4 West, a one million dollar renovation to one of CHEO’s inpatient units for patients with many different types of medical conditions. This year, with your generous support, the finishing touch was added – new, automatic beds with special features just for kids including nightlights and sensors to prevent injury if children are underneath the bed.

Twenty new beds, at a total cost of $105,000 (more than $5000 each), were purchased for CHEO’s inpatient units. Until now, mechanical hand-crank beds were used to help ensure that kids or their siblings could not accidentally injure themselves. CHEO’s clinical engineers were hard at work researching and evaluating the best possible bed for CHEO’s young patients that met safety requirements and operational needs.

At only 10-inches from the floor, these new low beds help children to feel more secure so they can sleep better. A low bed height is also safer, preventing falls. The automatic beds are also easier for staff, preventing injury and providing additional comfort options for patients.